The UCI isn't known for its quick embrace of new and arguably better technologies. Indeed it more often tightens its grip on what sort of equipment is allowed rather than loosening it. It therefore came as some surprise when the powers that be in the UCI declared disc brakes to be legal for cyclocross use last year. Perhaps on some level, though, this is unsurprising, given the absolute dominance of disc brake technologies in mountain bike circles. In that arena, disc brake technologies are the standard because they offer indisputable performance advantages over rim brakes - advantages that become more pronounced as course conditions trend toward wet and muddy. No sport does wet and muddy better than cyclocross, so the application of disc brakes on cross bikes makes a great deal of sense indeed.
Stevens is well known for their embrace of cyclocross racing and they have the palmares to prove it: Multiple national and world championship victories have been won on board Stevens cross bikes. It's no wonder then that they've embraced disc brake-equipped cross bikes so quickly. The Vapor is the first of a few disc brake cross bikes that Stevens will be unveiling this year. For the purposes of simplicity, it's easiest to think of the Vapor as a disc-equipped version of the Stevens Prestige. It's frame material and geometry are more or less identical to the Prestige, and its ride quality and handling dynamics are very similar as well. The obvious difference, of course, is the addition of disc brake tabs to the frame and the associated changes made to the cable guides. The fork and head tube are also modified: The fork is full carbon (as opposed to carbon with alloy dropouts) and has integrated ISO disc brake mounts on its beefy carbon legs. Additionally, the Vapor's fork employs a 1 1/8" to 1 1/2" tapered carbon steering column with an oversized, tapered head tube on the frame to match. This stiffens the front end of the bike considerably and adequately addresses the increased loads caused by more powerful disc brakes.
Functionally, we see the Vapor as an ideal bike to tackle late season cross racing, where rain, snow, sand and winter have conspired to make most cyclocross courses messy venues. We've come to appreciate the Prestige for its stiffness and nimble yet predictable handling. Add to this formula the increased stopping power and mud clearance provided by disc brakes and the outcome is an impressive bicycle indeed. As excited as we are to bomb the Vapor around a cross course, this bike also appeals to us as the ultimate all-season, all-weather training bike for the road. The thought of throwing some wide diameter slick road tires on the Vapor and tapping out mile after mile on dirty, slushy, gritty, gross roads is greatly appealing to us. Get it messy, hose it down, repeat. That's how we plan to use these first batch of Vapors that have arrived.
The Vapor has the same geometry as the Prestige and comes in roughly the same size range (minus the largest and smallest sizes right now). We offer it as a frameset or as a complete bike with 3 build kit options.
VAPOR FRAMESET FEATURES
- - Butted, 6061 aluminum alloy main tubes and stays
- - Oversized down tube and chainstays
- - Hydroformed flat top tube
- - Full carbon tapered 1 1/8" to 1 1/2" fork
- - Down tube shift cable routing
- - IS disc brake mounts on frame and fork
- - Inset 1 1/8" to 1 1/2" headset
- - 27.2mm seatpost compatibility
All measurements are in centimeters unless otherwise noted.
BUILD AND PRICING
Each Stevens Vapor is available for purchase as a frameset or as a complete bicycle, with a variety of pre-selected build-kit options designed to provide the best combination of performance and value.
Please CONTACT US if you would like to discuss the details of any of our products.
Vapor Frameset - $1099
Vapor Complete Bicycles - Prices range from $2999 to $3999
Note: On complete bike orders, please provide us with your desired stem length, bar width and crank arm length in the "Comments" section when you are checking out. (Example - 120mm stem, 42cm bar, 175mm.)
Complete bicycle specifications: